By: Marvin Chambers:|4.0 Sports Media
Prudential Center-Maybe all the Devils needed was a little home cooking and a goalie change to get back to their winning ways. Down 0-2 in the Stanley Cup playoffs against Tampa Bay the Devils outlasted the Lightning 5-2 in Game 3 in front of a sell-out crowd of 16,514.
Tampa Bay Alex Killorn gave them a 1-0 lead 42 seconds into the second period, scoring his third power-play goal of the series assisted by forward Nikita Kucherov.
Devils Hall tied it 1-1 at 12:24 in that same period, beating goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy with a slap shot from the slot.
“This game was really big for us. Taylor’s goals got us going and we could’t let this game slip awat from us. They protected their home turf and with this win we have an opportunity to the same. This is just one game and we know there are some things we have to clean up on the ice for Thursday game.” Devils Stefan Noesen said.
One of the things that the Devils have to to improve on is their power play game. New Jersey went 1-for-7 on the power play. Tampa Bay was 2-for-5. If they want to beat the Lightning in this series they have to do better when they get into power play.
Goaltender Cory Schneider made his first start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since May. Schneider made 34 saves for his first win since December for the Devils.
“Our goaltending has been bailing us out a lot of different ways this year. Cory has worked at his game, been a great pro, and came in and shut the door. He was sharp and locked in.” Devils Brian Boyle said.
It took Tampa Bay just 38 seconds of third period action Steven Stamkos with a wicked wrister that handcuffed goalie Cory Schneider on a power play that put the Lightning up 2-1, it was Stamkos first goal of the Stanley Cup playoffs and 16th of the season.
With 4:03 in the third Will Butcher with his first goal of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and couldn’t come at better time ties the game at 2 with assist from Hall and Palmieri. On that play goalie Vasilevskiy was shielded by Devils Patrick Maroon as Butcher wrister smoked passed him.
Forward Stefan Noesen gave the Devils a 3-2 lead at 12:55 of the third period, scoring on a one-timer from nice a pass from Taylor Hall.
Blake Coleman scored a shorthanded goal into an empty net at 19:02 to make it 4-2, and Ben Lovejoy scored an empty-net goal at 19:22 to extend it to 5-2.
Alex Killorn and Steven Stamkos each had a goal and an assist, Nikita Kucherov had two assists, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 36 saves for Tampa Bay.
Taylor Hall is first in franchise history with.99 points-per-game Devils’ that have at least 100 games played with the club this season he had 1.22 points-per game which is the most by any Devil in a single season with at least 50 games played.
Tampa Bay leads the best-of-7 series 2-1. Game 4 is Wednesday at the Rock.